Dry Cough Causes? Top 10 Dry Cough Remedies
Almost everyone has experienced having a dry cough. It is not the same as the usual chesty cough that is accompanied by mucus. A dry cough is a type of a cough that produces very little or no phlegm or mucus. A typical dry cough produces an irritating tickle in your throat that forces you to cough without any phlegm coming out. There is a persistent urge to cough that leaves you feeling tired and exhausted, with soreness in the chest and the airways feeling very irritated. Fortunately, there are dry cough remedies that can help stop the coughing and wheezing. This article will bring more insights on how to cure a cough, various treatment and cough remedies, and the different dry cough causes.
Dry Cough Causes
Learning about the dry cough causes is vital when trying to find out what cough remedies to use in various situations. Here are some of the most common dry cough causes that are affecting millions of people everywhere.
Viral infections such as colds and flu can be one of the dry cough causes. You can experience these dry coughs at the start of the viral infection, but in many cases, it also happens in the middle or the end of the illness. Sometimes, a dry cough can even continue even after the other symptoms have disappeared. These post-cold coughs can last for several weeks and they can be difficult to get rid of. Every time you a cough, it increases the irritation of the airways, so it would help to take throat lozenges and warm drinks to soothe the throat.
Asthma is a condition wherein your airways become narrow and inflamed. This leads to a dry cough and wheezing attacks, which is usually triggered by pollen, dust, cold air, exercises, and other factors. Aside from coughing, other symptoms of asthma include shortness of breath, tightness and pain in the chest, and a whistling sound when you exhale. There are medications and treatment procedures that can ease the symptoms of asthma. If you have asthma, you should consult your doctor regarding a long-term treatment plan and what is the most suitable option for you.
Sometimes, dry cough causes are a result of your lifestyle choices. Smoking can definitely cause a dry cough because it irritates your airways. For heavy smokers, the coughing may be accompanied with mucus or phlegm and it can be more persistent in the morning.
People with acid reflux will most probably experience a dry cough. When the acidic content in your stomach goes up to the back of your throat, some of these acids can enter the upper respiratory tract. This causes inflammation and dry coughing. There is a higher risk that this can happen if you are lying flat down.
Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can trigger a dry cough in some people. When you are under stress, your breathing becomes shallow, which causes you to cough.
Health Problem or Underlying Medical Condition
A dry cough that goes on for more than 3 weeks can be the result of a disease or underlying medical condition. You need to visit your health care provider to find out the real reason why you have a persistent dry cough that does not go away. One of the symptoms of a heart disease is persistent dry cough, especially in the evening, because there is a buildup of fluid in the lungs. The early stage of tuberculosis or TB produces a persistent dry cough. Lung cancer and other lung problems can also give rise to a persistent dry cough. Finding the real cause of the problem can help pinpoint the right dry cough remedies for you.
The pollution and irritants around you can irritate your airways, which leads to dry coughing. Sometimes the dust, pollen, molds, smoke, and pollution can be inhaled and cause problems in the airways. Pollution and smog contain chemical particles that can cause inflammation in the airways. But there are also instances when clean air that is too cold or too dry can cause people to have a persistent dry cough.
A collapsed lung is a condition wherein the lung suddenly deflates. This may be due to a chest injury, but sometimes it can also happen on its own. It is also common in people who have lung disease. Aside from a dry cough, a sudden deflation of the lungs can cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
Dry Cough Remedies
Here are some of the best dry cough remedies that you can try to bring some needed relief. Most of these cough remedies can be done at home and it is very much recommended, especially if your dry cough symptoms are not linked to any serious medical condition such as tuberculosis, asthma, lung cancer, heart disease, and so on.
Honey is always at the top of the list of how to cure a cough and soothe an irritated throat. Honey is antimicrobial, which stops any bacterial infection that is causing your dry cough. Plus, honey has high viscosity, which makes it very effective in soothing an inflamed throat. If you can’t take honey directly, you can add it to a lemon juice, hot tea or any hot drink that you prefer.
When you feel a throat irritation or you are already in the midst of a dry cough attack, just take one tablespoon of raw and organic honey. It is also recommended to take one tablespoon 1 to 3 times per day to help eliminate a dry cough.
Many dry cough remedies are simple and easy to prepare. Most often, you just have to keep yourself hydrated at all times and drink more liquids. Drinking water can make your throat moist, which helps reduce and soothe the throat irritation. Warm liquids are preferable, especially a warm broth or herbal tea. Some studies suggest that a warm liquid brings comfort if you have a sore throat and dry cough.
If you are going for a warm broth, you should try sipping on a real bone broth because it builds up your immunity, clears the airways, promotes detoxification, and soothe the muscles. A bone broth is also very effective in treating a dry cough that is caused by exposure to pesticides, chemicals, toxins, and other artificial ingredients.
Stay away from drinks that contain too much caffeine such as energy drinks, soft drinks, coffee, and black tea because it would be harder for you to relax and get enough rest. If you don’t like drinking tea or sipping a hot broth, you can eat more fruits and vegetables to stay hydrated, and drink more water.
Peppermint Oil for Steam Inhalation
Peppermint has powerful cooling properties that soothe an irritated throat and suppress a dry cough. If you want to have your own cough remedies at home, don’t forget to buy peppermint essential oil. You can add 3 to 4 drops of peppermint oil to a bowl of boiling water, and then cover your head with a towel and try to inhale the minty vapors for a few minutes. You can also try drinking peppermint tea and add honey or lemon to have some refreshing flavor.
Lozenges and Cough Drops
Lozenges or cough drops are very effective in soothing a sore throat and stopping a dry cough. If you want quick and fast dry cough remedies, then you should consider lozenges. These cough drops add moisture to your throat, thus easing the dryness, itchiness, and the urge to cough. Many lozenges contain menthol that helps add some numbness that reduces the urge to cough. However, cough drops are not recommended right before sleeping because it might block your airway.
Gargle with Salt Water
A dry cough that is caused by an irritated throat can be treated with salt water. You need to gargle with salt water to reduce the inflammation and stop a dry cough. This is also a good remedy for a sore throat since it brings the swelling down and eases the discomfort. In order to make your own salt water gargle, just stir 1 teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of warm water until the salt is thoroughly dissolved. Gargle the salt water for 15 seconds, spit it out, and repeat with the remaining salt water. Rinse or gargle again with plain water afterward.
Take a Hot Steamy Shower
Taking a hot steamy shower is one of the most refreshing dry cough remedies that you can try. The steam from the warm shower or hot tub adds moisture to the air, thus helping ease the soreness of the airways and reducing your dry cough. Breathing in the steam moistens the throat and clear any nasal congestion. If you don’t like to take a shower, you can just sit down in the bathroom with the door closed and let the steam from the hot water fill the air.
Consume More Vitamin C Foods
Your diet and eating habits can be your best solution for how to cure a cough and other illnesses. It is a great idea to consume more fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C and other essential nutrients. Vitamin C can boost your immune system and help reduce the coughing and wheezing that is very common in smokers. Studies have also proven that vitamin C can help fight infections that are caused by viruses and bacteria. Vitamin C Deficiency? Top 10 Vitamin C Foods You Have to Try Before Supplement
Drink Ginger Tea
Drinking ginger tea is one of the most powerful dry cough remedies that offer fast relief. This potent tea can strengthen your immune system and fight a bacterial and viral infection that is causing the dry cough.
Avoid Dry Cough Irritants
Avoiding the irritants can be one of the most effective dry cough remedies to follow. You should limit your exposure to substances that irritate your throats such as dust and smoke. You can wear a face mask when going out to avoid pollution. You can also keep your distance from smokers or find ways to avoid them.
Additional Tips for Treating Dry Cough
A dry cough tends to get worse at night when you are already in bed or in the morning after waking up. Sometimes, you would get into a coughing fit when you enter a room that is too warm and dry. Here are some additional tips that can help give you some needed relief, especially when you want to have a peaceful and uninterrupted sleep.
Since one of the causes of a dry cough is acid reflux, you need to elevate your head with a pillow when you are sleeping. Lying flat on the bed while sleeping will trigger an acid reflux, which causes dry coughing.
You should also moisten the nasal passage before you go to bed. Inhaling moisture helps soothe the dryness and itchiness of your throat. You can use a vaporizer or take a hot steamy shower to create a lot of moisture in the air. However, this method should be avoided if you have asthma. Steam is not recommended for people with asthma because it only triggers them to cough.
You can reduce the occurrence of a persistent dry cough by adding healthier and immune-boosting foods into your diet. You should consume more water, ginger tea, probiotic foods, bone broth, and raw garlic. These foods are effective in bringing down inflammation, soothing the muscles, thinning any mucus, and strengthening your immune system. You should avoid sugary foods, sweetened beverages, artificial fruit juices, processed foods, chocolates, and conventional dairy products.
You can also get a message to open up your airways and improve your pulmonary functions. Plus, the massage relaxes your muscles and helps boost your immunity.
If you are experiencing a dry cough that lasts for more than a month or longer, you should visit your doctor for a thorough medical checkup. Most of these dry cough remedies are effective in fighting bacterial and viral infections and reduce the intensity and duration of a cough. However, a medical condition that is causing the dry cough will not be treated by these home cough remedies. You would need a stronger medicine that will target the underlying health problem.